How many times will we hear that phrase during the holiday season? Often times it is followed by an appeal to give, a reminder of the true meaning of the season, or the beginning of a holiday toast. Say this phrase aloud, “At this time of the year”. Most will pause before continuing with the appeal, the reminder or the toast. Grammatically, that is correct. One pauses when there is a phrase followed by a comma. A comma, is a signal to pause. Perhaps, the phrase “At this time of the year”, is more than a holiday phrase; but, a signal to pause and reflect.
Pausing and reflecting is an opportunity to review and renew and not dwell and tear down. Many avoid pausing and reflecting because it becomes an activity of what I did wrong or what I should have done. Then comes the tape that replays all the fear and negative talk that you have heard or even spoken over yourself. This is followed by the redo and undo list.
Last week, I participated in dwell and tear down instead of review and renew. I left the current time zone the present and went to the past. My list of redo and undo was long. I stopped long enough to pray and give my list undo and redo to God. Before I got started “praying” good, I stopped to make a list of redos and undos. I only wrote two things down. Why? I had to admit that I really did not want to redo and undo all those things. Actually from some uncomfortable situations came some good. Two days later, as I wrote my sister a birthday message, one of my undo’s came glaring back. If I undid one of the things on my list, I would not have some very special time with her.
So, At This Time of the Year as you pause and reflect:
- I appeal to you not only give; but, to be grateful. Make a gratitude list as you reflect, that will keep in you the proper time zone.
- I remind you of the true meaning of the season, Jesus Christ. Take a minute and imagine life without, the love, hope, comfort, peace, and joy that we enjoy because of Jesus Christ. Thankfully we don’t have live that life; but, others do. Commit to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God, Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going (Isaiah 9:6-7 MSG)
At this time of the year, pause, reflect, review, renew, love, hope, and share.
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love.